If you have been in a car, truck or motorcycle accident caused by another person, one of the first things you do is exchange insurance information. What kind of insurance coverage can you expect the other person to have to cover your injuries?
If the car is in New York, then by law, that driver is required to maintain at least $25,000 of liability coverage to cover anyone they negligently injure. That driver also has $50,000 of “No Fault” insurance which covers her, her passengers, and any pedestrians she hits, regardless of who is at fault for the accident. The driver will also have $50,000 in coverage for injuries resulting in death and $10,000 for property damage. If the driver of the other car does not carry the proper insurance for some reason, or if it’s a hit-and-run situation, then your own car insurance has a minimum of $25,000 underinsured motorist coverage.
When Your Injuries Are Covered by “No Fault”
You must make your claim for personal injuries from the insurance company’s No Fault policy covering the car you occupied at the time of the accident. In this situation, you would go to your doctor and ask if they accept “No Fault.” If they do, they will bill the No Fault policy directly. If not, then you can ask for a referral to a doctor who accepts No Fault. The doctor will then make the claims directly to your insurance company.
The law will not allow you to bring a successful personal injury lawsuit against the other driver even if he or she is at fault unless the injury qualifies as a “serious injury” as defined by New York law.
“Serious Injury” – When You Can Sue the Other Driver for Negligence
If the injuries you suffer in the car accidents are considered a “serious injury,” then you can sue the other driver for your injuries. A serious injury is defined in either of two ways. In the unfortunate event that you suffer one of a specific list of serious injuries, then you can sue the other driver directly. Your injury will be considered serious if it is “a personal injury which results in death; dismemberment; significant disfigurement; a fracture; loss of a fetus; permanent loss of use of a body organ, member, function or system; permanent consequential limitation of use of a body organ or member; significant limitation of use of a body function or system; or a medically determined injury or impairment of a non-permanent nature which prevents the injured person from performing substantially all of the material acts which constitute such person’s usual and customary daily activities for not less than ninety days during the one hundred eighty days immediately following the occurrence of the injury or impairment.”
Alternatively, if you expect that your medical bills, certain lost wages, and certain other incidental expenses will exceed $50,000, New York Insurance law will permit a personal injury suit against the driver.
Long Island Personal Injury Lawyers – We Handle Negligence Claims
In the event that you or a loved one have indeed suffered an injury because of the carelessness or negligence of another driver, then contact the experienced personal injury attorneys at Rosenberg & Gluck, LLP. We have protected the rights of thousands of clients throughout Suffolk County and Nassau Counties. For a free initial consultation, email us or call our office at 631-451-7900.